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Hero was a beautiful priestess of Venus who lived at Sestos. She was deeply in love with a youth called Leander who lived at Abydos on the opposite shore of the Hellespont - a narrow strip of water now known as the Dardanelles. The lovers would meet at Sestos by night after Leander had swum across the channel, guided by a burning torch which Hero held aloft. One night, returning home, Leander was drowned in a storm.

January 1990